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This statistic is startling.

When I was pregnant with Lily (who will be, oh, SEVEN this year), postpartum depression never crossed my mind. It was just that strange thing that happened to women in the movies and I had more important things to think about like how many onesies does a baby need? And what on earth are we going to name her?

But then. We got home from the hospital, and I started crying. And the tears didn’t stop for days and weeks and almost three months. Deliriously sleep-deprived and numbed by Lily’s constant inconsolable screaming, I spiraled into a deep, dark place of hopelessness, intrusive thinking and paralyzing anxiety.

My neighbor noticed I hadn’t been outside much. She came knocking (thank goodness) bearing food and a pamphlet for Moms Supporting Moms. Of course I tossed it aside because who has time for that? And I don’t need a support group. I’m fine.

But not really.

A couple of weeks after my neighbor’s first visit, our pediatrician’s nurse gave me the same pamphlet. And when I finally sought help from my doctor, at the 10-week mark, she told me to go too.

At that point, I would have flown to Mars for help. Support group, here I come.

When I walked into the room for my first meeting, I struggled to fight back tears. Two hours later, I walked out a changed person. Not healed, but definitely vastly calmer. And more hopeful. And feeling far less alone.

Moms Supporting Moms and Postpartum Education and Support helped save me.

And for the last six years, I’ve been trying to pay it forward.

Next Saturday, Sept. 13, is our organization’s biggest fundraising event of the year, the StrollerThon. I’ll be there with my team — yet to be named by Lily — and I hope you’ll consider registering too.

If you can’t make it, check out the raffle. Seriously. The top prize is a gorgeous Bumbleride stroller, and tickets are only $2 each. You can buy tickets online, and you don’t need to be present to win.

And if you feel like you (or someone you know) might be among the one in seven, please feel free to email me: permendous@gmail.com. If you’re in the Triangle (NC) area, call the Postpartum Education and Support warmline: 919.454.6946. And if you’re not nearby, Postpartum Progress and Postpartum Support International (PSI) are wonderful resources. In fact, PSI can help locate support groups, doctors and other resources in your area. Talking to your doctor is a critical first step. Remember, you are NOT alone. And, most importantly, this WILL get better.

I promise! I’m living proof.

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